Gov. McMaster to order mandatory evacuations for SC coastal counties

Florence is now a hurricane, McMaster advises prep for

Florence is now a hurricane, McMaster advises prep for "a lot of rain and a lot of wind"

"Probably worst case scenario is next weekend, maybe Saturday and Sunday, we get some remnants of it, but it's really hard to say", says Bill Simpson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in MA", who refers to what's coming our way as at best "a minimal impact".

The hurricane is poised to make landfall early Thursday somewhere around North and SC, and is likely to strengthen as it approaches.

The current projected path takes Florence toward the USA coast, and has her making landfall in North Carolina in the afternoon on Thursday, September 13.

Where is the hurricane now?

Central North Carolina's coastal counties are bracing for Florence to hit the area on Thursday, bringing potential floods and a threat of tornados, according to Dare County officials. It was moving west at 13 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A Category 4 on the five-level Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, Florence was 575 miles (925 kilometers) south-southeast of Bermuda and the center of the hurricane was forecast to pass between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest advisory.

At this height of the Atlantic hurricane season, Florence was being trailed on east-to-west paths by two other hurricanes, Helene and Isaac. These conditions are expected to lead to significant strengthening during the next 12 to 24 hours, and Florence is forecast to be a very powerful major hurricane on its approach to the southeastern United States.

What else should I know?

The governors of Virginia, Maryland, and North and SC have declared states of emergency ahead of the storm. SC emergency management officials said they were "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster". The state's emergency management division has posted additional information on the evacuations and how to prepare.

During a press conference Monday morning, N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper said his state is "in the bull's-eye" of the storm.

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As of 5 a.m. EDT, Florence was centered about 625 miles (1,005 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda, moving west at 9 mph (15 kph).

"The bottom line is that there is increasing confidence that Florence will be a large and extremely risky hurricane, regardless of its exact intensity, " Blake said.

The first mandatory evacuation order was issued at noon, and Cooper expects more later Monday and Tuesday.

Hurricane Florence strengthened to a Category 4 Monday, as the city works to prepare for the prospect of a major storm making landfall this week.

Concerns about the monster storm extended even into Virginia.

"This storm gets stronger and stronger" on its way to a head-on impact with a zone that ranges some 80 miles, Myers said.

NOAAAn NOAA map shows the probability of tropical-storm-force winds hitting the US East Coast between Sunday and Friday. She grew up on the island chain, and says this will be only the second time she's evacuated.

Hurricane Florence strengthened to a Category 3 storm on September 10, according to the National Hurricane Center's (NHC) update at 11 a.m. Troops have received ready to deploy orders for Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Two other storms were spinning in the Atlantic.

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